Derby close to Covid call-off – Wayne Rooney

Posted Sunday, December 12, 2021 by PA

Derby close to Covid call-off – Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney admitted Derby came close to calling off their game against Blackpool before defying a coronavirus outbreak to win 1-0.

Rooney’s preparations were thrown into disarray by the virus but a first senior goal by 19-year-old striker Luke Plange secured a victory against the odds.

Although Derby had seven players self-isolating under Covid-19 protocols, they delivered a solid performance and deservedly took the points.

There were few clear chances in the game and the best moment of an increasingly scrappy first half came in the 32nd minute when Shayne Lavery used his pace to drive into the Derby box only for Curtis Davies to deny him with a superb tackle.

Derby got better in the second half and went ahead in the 51st minute when Kamil Jozwiak’s shot was pushed onto a post by Chris Maxwell and Plange tucked away the rebound.

Blackpool pushed for an equaliser but lacked quality in the final third and did not seriously test Ryan Allsop as County stood firm to secure a first win in four games.

Rooney said: “It’s been horrendous, very tough. This morning we were still getting them (Covid cases) so we haven’t been able to prepare for the game, yesterday we only had 13 players at one stage so a lot was done on video.

“The team was set yesterday but the bench was still changing today. Normally I’d name the team on Thursday and we would work on how we were going to play but we weren’t able to do any of that.”

When asked if Derby considered asking for the game to be postponed, Rooney admitted: “It was close.

“I was speaking to the doctor and I think we had a case if we went to the EFL but I wanted to play the game.

“It was an opportunity, firstly for some of the young lads to be on the bench but also it’s an eye-opener for people to see that, although this is Covid, with a few injuries and suspensions this is where we’re at.”

Blackpool have now failed to win in seven games and head coach Neil Critchley admitted: “I think the scoreline sums up where we are at this moment in time.

“There was very little between the two teams and there weren’t many opportunities for either team. First half I thought we shaded it and had the better moments but second half, when we did get into the final third towards the end of the game, it was quite obvious there was a little bit of anxiety and lack of composure.

“Our decision-making let us down which is a recurring theme at the moment. But we have to remember this is a tough league and there were still aspects of this performance that were very good today.

“But I don’t think we did enough in the second half, I felt as a group the whole team didn’t play the football and didn’t have the moments we had in the first half.

“We just have to keep calm and keep doing what we are doing and look to improve in areas of the pitch we need to, which is quite obvious.”


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